THE South Australian Government has released a draft Bill for public consultation aimed at reforming the process for changing current local council boundaries in South Australia.
The draft Bill includes creating an independent Commission to undertake initial assessments of boundary change proposals and to make recommendations to the Minister.
The draft Bill also seeks to establish a simpler and broader process allowing boundary change proposals to be initiated by a single council or the Minister for Local Government.
Other measures will include introducing a provision for independent analysis of general proposals – significant boundary changes, amalgamations or significant structural reform – by one or more investigators with the relevant expertise.
Local Government Minister Geoff Brock said the draft Bill provides the opportunity to put in place a better process that deals with minor boundary changes efficiently, and also enables freer debate and discussion on more significant structural reform opportunities.
"The new approach provides an opportunity to remove the limitations and inefficiencies in the current boundary change processes," Mr Brock added.
"Some of these include current restrictions on who can initiate reform proposals, burdensome procedural requirements and the necessity for two or more councils to agree with reform proposals from members of the public.
"I believe these reforms will drive positive outcomes for communities across our State and I encourage all those interested to participate in the consultation process.
"Following consideration of feedback, I expect to introduce a Bill in the Spring session of Parliament this year," Mr Brock said.